Coronavirus: Another 41 deaths announced in the Republic

Seven people arrested over weekend under new Covid-19 laws

Another 41 patients diagnosed with Covid-19 have died, Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan as announced at the daily Department Of Health Covid-19 press briefing. The patients included 16 women and 25 men. Video: RTE News Now

 

Another 41 patients diagnosed with Covid-19 have died, the National Public Health Emergency Team reported on Tuesday evening. This was the highest death toll in a single day so far.

The patients included 16 females and 25 males.

Some 36 of the deaths occurred in the east of the country, four in the west and one in the south.

The median age of the deaths reported today is 85, and 31 of the patients were reported as having underlying health conditions.

There have now been a total of 406 coronavirus-related deaths in the Republic.

Some 548 new cases of the disease were also reported by Irish laboratories on Tuesday, as well as 284 processed in a German laboratory, bringing the total number of cases to 11,479.

As of last Monday, 90,646 tests have been carried out on Irish samples, NPHET said. Some 62,952 were completed in Irish laboratories, and 27,694 in Germany.

Over the past week, 20,468 tests were carried out in Irish labs, of which 4,233 were positive, a positive rate of 21 per cent.

Dr Cillian De Gascun, chair of NPHET’s expert advisory group said; “Having come through a challenging few weeks, we have significantly strengthened testing capacity and will continue to do so over the coming week, to put us in a very strong position to identify and suppress the virus.”

As of last Sunday, 54 per cent of confirmed cases were in women and 45 per cent in men, while the median age was 48 years.

Some 275 cases have been admitted to ICU, and 2,707 cases are associated with healthcare workers.

At a meeting on Tuesday, NPHET recommended the HSE put in place a coordinated national process to identify the prevalence of Covid-19 across nursing homes and other residential healthcare settings, as recommended by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.

The group also directed the HSE’s Health Protection Surveillance Centre to develop a strategy to conduct a seroprevalence study which will identify the proportion of the population who have ever had Covid-19, regardless of testing.

“We remain concerned about the prevalence of COVID-19 in nursing homes and residential care settings,” chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan said.

“The National Public Health Emergency Team is monitoring developments in these facilities and continues to advance supports and actions where needed.

“From the beginning, we have been aware that vulnerable groups, including the elderly, are at greater risk from this virus. These groups will continue to be our priority.”

Dr Colm Henry, chief clinical officer, HSE, said; “We are not seeing a significant increase in the number of Covid-19 positive cases in our hospitals or our ICU’s over the last number of days, and that is down to the efforts of every individual who has followed advice to stay apart and slow the spread of the virus. To everyone playing their part, the health service is grateful.”

Meanwhile figures released by the North’s Public Health Agency on Tuesday revealed that 10 more people with coronavirus had died in Northern Ireland’s hospitals in the previous 24 hours, bringing the total number of such fatalities to 134.

Eighty-five new cases of Covid-19 were also identified, and the total number of confirmed cases of coronavirus now stands at 1,967, it said.

Earlier it was reported that Gardaí made seven arrests over the long weekend under new legislation introduced to stem the spread of coronavirus.

An Garda Síochána said these arrests were made when people repeatedly refused to comply with directions to abide by the movement restrictions which prohibit unnecessary travel and exercise further than 2km from the home.

In addition there were 144 incidents where gardaí enforcing the coronavirus restrictions instead made arrests under other, long-standing legislation.

These incidents include arrests for public order breaches, assault, road traffic offences and drug offences. The arrests were made at house parties and street gatherings and where gardaí found people engaged in non-essential travel.

A major policing operation was put in place over the weekend with checkpoints across the country to ensure people complied with public health guidelines, over fears people would travel to holiday homes due to the fine weather.

The Government has said people should continue to adhere to coronavirus travel restrictions.

Gardaí conduct a traffic checkpoint on the outskirts of Dublin last week. Photograph: Paul Faith/AFP via Getty Images
Gardaí conduct a traffic checkpoint on the outskirts of Dublin last week. Photograph: Paul Faith/AFP via Getty Images

Assistant general secretary at the Department of the Taoiseach Liz Canavan said on Tuesday there had been a “very high level of compliance” with the guidelines over the bank holiday weekend and called for people to continue to adhere to the restrictions over the coming weeks.

“We are at a delicate and critical point in trying to figure out how to proceed,” she said during a media briefing at Government Buildings in Dublin.

Also on Tuesday, Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald said she had tested positive for coronavirus.

Ms McDonald received a positive diagnosis for Covid-19 having been tested on March 28th. She said she suffered a setback in her recovery with post-viral pleurisy in her right lung.

In a statement she thanked everyone who has sent their good wishes over the past number of weeks and said she would be back at work next Monday.

In terms of those who have died from the virus in the Republic, latest figures show three people were in the age category 25-34 years.

The latest epidemiological report from the HSE’s Health Protection Surveillance Centre also showed the youngest fatality from the disease was 30 while the oldest was 105. Just over 90 per cent of deaths have occurred among over-65s, the report states.

Of the 9,848 confirmed cases of Covid-19 up to last Saturday, 362 had died, giving a case fatality rate of 3.8 per cent. The overall death rate from the disease will ultimately be lower when statistical account is taken of milder cases not picked up through testing.

There are now 149 clusters of the virus in nursing homes, as well as 56 in residential institutions and 23 in community or long-stay units, according to the daily HPSC report. A cluster is defined as two or more cases.

These numbers collectively dwarf the 60 outbreaks in hospitals or the 50 outbreaks in private houses.

An additional cluster has been reported that originated in a pub, bringing that total to three, almost three weeks after a nationwide closure of pubs was ordered.

The oldest person to be diagnosed with the disease so far was 106. Dublin has the highest incidence of the virus, while Roscommon has the lowest.

The World Health Organisation Covid-19 spokesman David Nabarro said people would have to learn to live with the virus in the community.

“It is up to us to learn codes of behaviour, we will have to adapt to living with the virus in our midst,” he told Seán O’Rourke on RTÉ radio.

He said it was up to governments to decide when to reduce restrictions, but added that a lot depends on people being responsible and being prepared not to go to work or to a social gathering if they feel unwell so they would not infect others.